Mainstreaming Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants Diversity in Three Indian States

What is the Project About

What is the Project About
Photo: Ishan Tankha/UNDP India

In partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, funded by Global Environment Facility, the project seeks to promote long-term conservation and sustainable use of India’s medicinal plants through forest management policy and practice at national, state and local levels.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

What Have We Accomplished So Far
Photo: Ishan Tankha/UNDP India
  • Mainstreaming conservation and Sustainable use of Medicinal Plants in Policies and Protocols
    • Detailed analysis of relevant national and state legislation was carried out proposing mainstreaming conservation of medicinal plants. The State Government of Arunachal Pradesh has notified the Arunachal Pradesh Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Policy 2015.
    • The project has initiated a National Inter-sectoral Strategy on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants. The three project states too have initiated such strategy.
    • The project significantly contributed to the revision of the National Forest Working Plan Code by including medicinal plants into it. The Code came into effect from 1 April, 2014
    • ‘Sui Generis legal mechanism for protecting traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in India’ was prepared, based on a detailed review of international treaties and national legislation.
  • Demonstration of replicable models of in-situ and ex-situ conservation of medicinal plants
    • Twenty Medicinal Plants Conservation Development Areas[i] covering 24,047 hectare, were developed in three project states which also includes conservation of 32 GSMPs.
    • The three project states have undertaken plantation of various medicinal plants including GSMPs on 13,130 hectare.
  • Institutional mechanisms established, towards sustainable harvest and use of medicinal plants and to ensure equitable access and sharing of benefits
    • The State of Uttarakhand has included a chapter on conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in each of its four forest divisional working plans. Similar efforts resulted Arunachal Pradesh to include a chapter on medicinal plants in one Forest Divisional plan. For the State of Chhattisgarh, data was provided for revision of four plans.
    • Information is compiled on availability of medicinal plants and local biological resources, their medicinal and other uses. This wealth of knowledge is now available in 16 People’s Biodiversity Registers.
    • Twelve Bio-cultural Community Protocols have been prepared with detailed terms for accessing and sharing benefits arising out of use of genetic resources. 
    • Sustainable Harvest Protocols have been developed for 10 key-species including Cinnamomum tamala, Dioscorea hispida, Andrographis paniculata, Terminalia arjuna,Semecarpus anacardium, Embelia tsjeriam-cottam,Celastrus paniculatus, Rubia cordifolia .
    • Chhattisgarh State Medicinal Plants Board has received funding of INR 7.36 crores from the state Forest Department under Community Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority for replicating project activities in new sites.
    • Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, initiated a long term strategy for threat assessment and monitoring the conservation status of medicinal plants in India. The threat status of 46 endemic medicinal plants species is uploaded in International Union for Conservation of Nature – Species Information Services system.
  • Training, Capacity Building & Knowledge sharing
    • Curriculum developed on importance of medicinal plants conservation and sustainable use for the Indian Forest Services probationers for Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy.
    • Curriculum revised, tested and adopted by State Forest Training Academies for frontline forest staff in the three project States.
    • SMPBs & traditional healers guided nearly 50,000 families to develop ‘Home Herbal Gardens’ in Chhattisgarh between 2011- 2014. 
    • Village Botanist Course, workshops and exposure visits helped in training over 500 front-line staff of state forest departments, traditional healers, local traders, members of the BMCs, rural youth and women.
    • More than 100 knowledge products developed comprising brochures, booklets, films, jingles, radio programmes, mascots, websites and puppet shows.
    • Project experiences and learnings shared in more than 10 National and 5 International workshops and training programmes.

Funding Support by



Donor Name Amount Contributed
Global Environment Facility (GEF) US$ 4,935,000



Expenditure in Previous Fiscal Years

Year Amount
2015 US$ 273,522.39
2014 US$ 867,680
2013 US$ 990,375
2012 US$ 1,343,714
2011 US$ 652,314
2010 US$ 313,972
2009 US$ 570,288
2008 US$ 14,157

Photo Essay

Healing Through Nature: Protecting India’s Traditional Medicinal Wealth

Healing Through Nature: Protecting India’s Traditional Medicinal Wealth
Since 2008, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has partnered with UNDP to promote the sustainable use and conservation of medicinal plants in three ecologically fragile states – Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. 

Conserving Medicinal Plants, Sustaining Livelihoods

Conserving Medicinal Plants, Protecting Traditional Knowledge
Since 2008, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and the Global Environment Facility is promoting sustainable use and conservation of medicinal plants in the three ecologically-fragile states of Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh.

Stories of Change

Conserving Medicinal Plants, Sustaining Livelihoods

Conserving Medicinal Plants, Sustaining Livelihoods
Since 2008, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and the Global Environment Facility is promoting sustainable use and conservation of medicinal plants in the three ecologically-fragile states of Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh. An estimated 316 species in India are under threat of extinction.

Conservation of Medicinal Plants

Conservation of Medicinal Plants
India has a rich resource base of medicinal plants, plush with about 8,000 different species. According to the Government of India (GoI), traditional medicines are the sole means of health care for about 65 percent of the population.


In the News

Project Overview
Status
Closed
Project Start Date:
March 2008
Estimated End Date:
June 2015
Geographic Coverage:
Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand
Focus Area:
Environment and Energy
MDG:
Goal 7- Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Project Officer:
Ruchi Pant
Partners:
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India; National Medicinal Plants Board; State Forest Departments and State Medicinal Plants Boards of Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand; National Biodiversity Authority; Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy; Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions
Highlights
  • Uncontrolled harvesting of medicinal and aromatic plants is destroying the livelihoods of local communities
  • Twenty-one Medicinal Plant Development Areas declared in three states have concentrated efforts in species diverse locations
  • Over 12,000 home herbal gardens set up in Chhattisgarh with the help of Traditional Healers Association
  • Over 350 front-line staff of state forest departments and community members trained through Village Botanist Course, workshops, and exposure visits
  • Better understanding of diversity of species through comprehensive botanical and ecological surveys
  • Nineteen species identified as threatened through Conservation Assessment and Management Plan exercises held in the three project states